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Namibia seeks mineral processing before export

Namibian prime
Nahas Angula
Windhoek, Namibia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 July 2010 – The government of Namibia wants foreign mining companies to start processing minerals locally before exporting them, in order to create jobs and enable the government to raise more revenue through export tax.

Making this statement at a meeting here, prime minister Nahas Angula said Namibia “’ which was planning to launch its Transformation of Social and Economic Empowerment Framework (TESEF) programme in 2011 “’ would at some point intervene to ensure foreign miners started to add value to minerals, and urged them to award more supply contracts to local people.

Reuters reports that Namibia is one of the world’s largest diamond producers and also has minerals such as uranium, while foreign firms are also exploring for gold, lead, zinc and iron ore.

“The government is not in favour of the export of Namibian minerals without adding value to them,” Angula said. He added that little had been done to include previously disadvantaged people on boards and managements of foreign companies, and also proposed that a fund be set up for the mining industry to facilitate training for Namibians.

“Much of what we have seen so far is window dressing and divide-and-rule type of employment equity,” Angula claimed.

He accused some mining companies of selling the country’s metals through paper companies.

“Neither sales taxes or transfer duties are charged for the benefit of the owners of resources, and exploration licences change hands in the similar manner,” Angula said.

He also urged mining companies to start repairing damaged landscape caused by open cast mining and added they must help address growing energy needs.